About Staying Negative

Staying Negative aims to emotionally engage, inspire and facilitate imagination in sexual health practices. The campaign profiles the real life stories of gay, bisexual and trans men who have sex with men (MSM). Men talk about all aspects of their life from coming out, relationships, sexuality and a broad range of other topics. While HIV and safe sex is an important part of all stories, it is not the exclusive focus.

Prior HIV prevention campaigns have traditionally focused on providing gay men with information that will encourage them to adopt safe sex behaviours. In reality, safe sex practices are influenced by a whole range of environmental and cultural factors. The campaign also provides an opportunity for HIV positive men to talk about their lives and discuss how their strategies to staying HIV negative were not successful. We understand that there is more than one way practice safe sex and adopt healthcare seeking behaviours, so let's be creative about it!

There are no real criteria for participants other than that they are MSM and happy to have their stories appear as part of the campaign. In addition to the personal stories, the website provides information on HIV/AIDS, sexual health, relationships and broad of the other relevant topics including domestic violence, drugs and alcohol and depression.

Crabs (Pubic lice)

What is it?

Crabs (Phthirus pubis) are tiny mites that live on the skin at the base of hair follicles. Crabs lay eggs that are attached to the hairs and are usually seen in the pubic regions such as around your cock (penis) and arse (anus). Crabs can also be found in any body hair including beards, armpits, chest hair and eyelashes. 


Crabs cause intense itching of the affected areas. Close examination of the itchy area should find tiny born lice and white eggs attached to the hair.


Crabs are passed on through close skin-to-skin contact and sexual activity. Since they’re parasites, they’re able to move around in order to find a better place to live and can be transmitted through sharing clothes, bed sheets or towels. Transmission is difficult to avoid when fucking someone who has crabs as it’s likely you’ll have come into contact with an infected area, particularly due to the fondness crabs have for pubic hair.


You can treat crabs yourself with genital lice shampoos and creams available at pharmacies. These don’t require a prescription, so if you are feeling uncomfortable about going to a pharmacy (and big dark glasses won’t cut it), you can also order it online. At the time of treatment make sure you wash all your bed sheets, towels and clothing in warm, soapy water to get rid of any mites that may be hanging around. Sexual partners and anyone in close physical contact should also be treated. It is advisable to repeat the treatment after seven days because of how easily they are transmitted and the fact they can move around.

Shaving off your pubic and other body hair will not get rid of them!

Mark talks about his experience with crabs:

“The first thing I ever caught was crabs and that was a freak-out. I thought I had ants in my bed. When I realised what they were I sat in a hot bath with four buckets of salt in there trying to kill them. I didn’t know how to get rid of them. Eventually I had to slink into the chemist - with the hat and sunglasses on!”

Leo talks about his experience with crabs:

“I’m lucky that the only thing I ever picked up was crabs. I’ve had them probably five or six times. My flatmate, who was a lot more knowledgeable, sat me down on a piece of newspaper and sprayed me in the crutch with Mortein!” 

Tell us your story

Tell us your story


Come and tell us your story! We would love to hear from you! If you want to find out a little more about how it all works, give Jessie a call at VAC on (03) 9865 6700, or email staying.negative@vac.org.au